Royal Ontario Museum Blog

Monthly Archive: December

Not just for show: how and why museum specimens are collected

Posted: October 31, 2016 - 13:42 , by Stacey Kerr
ROM technician Brad Millen processes a bird specimen that will be added to the ROM's collections. Photo by Samantha Stephens

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication student Samantha Stephens

The sign on the door seemed quite appropriate. “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” I imagine that, as this quote from Dante’s Inferno indicates, this might be what hell feels like. As this last barrier swings open and the dim room is revealed, the swarm of hundreds of tiny creatures moving across the concrete floor completes that vision. However, for some of the ROM’s tireless workers, this environment is heaven. Here resides the dermestid beetle colony. These ravenous beetles are eagerly seeking their next meal. Manoeuvring themselves into the crevices of skeletons, they strip the flesh from delicate specimens with more precision and speed than the nimblest of human fingers.

#ThrowbackThursday: A Very Hot Evening

Posted: October 27, 2016 - 10:00 , by Sarah Fee

In September, 1971, the ROM opened the landmark exhibition Keep Me Warm One Night, a kaleidoscopic display of over 500 pieces of Canadian handweaving. It was the culmination of decades of pioneering research and collecting by the ROM curatorial powerhouse duo ‘Burnham and Burnham’, aka Dorothy K. Burnham and Harold B. Burnham.

Sebastian Kvist: Leech Hunter

Posted: October 25, 2016 - 13:34 , by Stacey Kerr
A portrait photo of Sebastian Kvist out in front of a swamp in the field in Minnesota, U.S.A. Photo by Vincent Luk

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication student Sally McIntyre

When most people think about the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), they think of dinosaurs or mummies. However, it is the invertebrates that live on the ocean floor and crawl through the soil that make up the most diverse collection at the ROM. So who holds the daunting position of keeper of this vast museum collection? Meet Dr. Sebastian Kvist: Leech Hunter. 

Artists of the Floating World, Part I

Posted: October 18, 2016 - 15:35 , by Diana Lu
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Written by Josiah Ariyama

Supervised by Dr. Asato Ikeda

 

A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints, exhibited at the ROM from May until November, 2016 offers but a glimpse into the lives of Wakashu, or “young companions” living in Edo period Japan (1603-1868). The exhibition not only features a plethora of great woodblock prints, but exacerbates the viewer’s imaginary journey into this time through the use of film, screens, and sartorial artefacts such as armour, kimono and hair ornaments. 

 

An Interview with Jameel Jaffer

Posted: October 17, 2016 - 09:59 , by Brittany Budani
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Jameel Jaffer

With his talk at the upcoming 11th annual Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture, part of the ROM Speaks series, constitutional lawyer and civil liberties advocate Jameel Jaffer will focus on the phenomenon of official secrecy. Zeroing in on the legal, political, and social repercussions of allowing democratic governments to withhold information about national security policy from the public. The ROM's Ann Webb recently talked with Jaffer about the interssection of art and secrecy. 

#ThrowbackThursday: Working Like Mad

Posted: October 13, 2016 - 10:00 , by Sarah Fee
Photograph of textiles behind a spinning wheel

In September, 1971, the ROM opened the landmark exhibition Keep Me Warm One Night, a kaleidoscopic display of over 500 pieces of Canadian handweaving. It was the culmination of decades of pioneering research and collecting by the ROM curatorial powerhouse duo ‘Burnham and Burnham’, aka Dorothy K. Burnham and Harold B. Burnham.

Going Dark

Posted: October 11, 2016 - 10:00 , by Brittany Budani
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Jameel Jaffer

Blog by Doug Wallace

The culture of government secrecy and society's indifference to it are quickly becoming a troubling trend.

Remembering Ancient Pottery Traditions

Posted: October 4, 2016 - 15:15 , by Craig Cipolla
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Richard and Catherine examining ceramics made by their Ancestors.

This summer Wyandot artists Richard Zane Smith and Catherine Tammaro visited the Royal Ontario Museum’s New World Archaeology collections. The purpose of their visit was to study a small sample of the ROM’s Wendat pottery collections in order to gain information on ancestral Wendat and Tionontati ceramic techniques.

#ThrowbackThursday: Keep Me Warm One Night

Posted: September 29, 2016 - 10:00 , by Sarah Fee
Picture of Keep Me Warm One Night installation

Exactly forty-five years ago, in September, 1971, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) opened the landmark exhibition Keep me Warm One Night, a kaleidoscopic display of over 500 pieces of Canadian handweaving. It was the culmination of decades of pioneering research and collecting by the ROM curatorial powerhouse duo ‘Burnham and Burnham’, aka Dorothy K. Burnham and Harold B. Burnham.

Preserving and Caring for Vernacular Photographs: A Workshop with Monique Fischer

Posted: September 26, 2016 - 15:45 , by Jennifer Orpana
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On Tuesday, September 13th 2016, a classroom at The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) was abuzz with anticipation, as over 30 participants prepared for a vernacular/family photography workshop, hosted by The Family Camera Network and the ROM.